Depuffing Tricks for When Your Eyes Have It

September 30th, 2010

In our house this week, the eyes had it.

My daughter was pretty in pink. Pink eye, that is. She psyched me out, making me believe that the drops were going to be easy peasy. Nope. The first time was a fluke because she cried like a maniac each time after that.

I wasn’t looking much prettier. After spending every single night out at Boston Fashion Week parties and runway shows (I know…boo hoo, Cheryl…being a fashionista is soooo hard), my eyes were burning and puffy, complete with dark circles.

The Fenton females were looking a little rough. Almost wanted to poke my husband in the eye just so he could join in. I didn’t. He thanked me.

There were actual reasons to have some crazy under eye puff this week. But what about the days I wake up looking like a prized fighter? Dr. Ranella Hirsch, noted Boston-area dermatologist, explained to me a little bit about what’s up with under-eye bags, circles and puffiness. Then I turned to friend/celeb makeup artist extraordinaire Shalini Vadhera for some amazingly quick (and DIY) global beauty tips for getting rid of the puff and circles.

Easy Peasy: Are poor lifestyle habits the sole cause of under-eye bags and circles?

Dr. Hirsch: Not necessarily. Many people are genetically predisposed to under-eye bags and circles although poor lifestyle habits like not enough sleep and too salty diet can really exaggerate the issue.

EP: Why do the appearance of under-eye bags and circles seem to worsen with age and season?

Dr. Hirsch: Anatomically, the under-eye fat pad is more prone to bulge as we lose collagen with aging. This correlates with what is commonly known as under-eye bags. The discoloration under the eye reflects a combination of genetic predisposition, cumulative lifestyle habits, and seasonal allergies. The rubbing and itching caused by allergies can further worsen the discoloration over time.

EP: Can drinking more water can help alleviate under-eye bags?

Dr. Hirsch: A regrettable misconception. Although water consumption can provide many other health benefits, solely increasing your drinking volume does not work to remove under-eye bags. If it did, I suspect our reservoirs would lie empty year round.

EP: Can OTC products really help?

Dr. Hirsch: OTC products can’t prevent bags from appearing in someone who is genetically predisposed to them, but they can certainly help reduce their physical appearance. I recommend them often to patients as part of an overall anti-aging management strategy. Two to try: Vichy Aqualia Thermal Eye Roll-On and benefit’s Depuffing Action Eye Gel.

Here are Shalini’s fantastic solutions for keeping your eyes the prize:

  • Grated potatoes can lighten under-eye circles. Run one spud through your food processor and stuff the raw mash into a piece of cheesecloth. Apply to the area directly beneath your eye — just don’t let the potato juice come in contact with the eye itself — and leave for 15 to 20 minutes. Wipe away the starchy residue.
  • Witch Hazel also works great to reduce puffy eyes. When I’m working in the studios and an actor comes in with puffy eyes, the first thing I do is reach for the witch hazel. We keep a small amount in the refrigerator and soak two cotton pads with it. Sit back and apply one cotton pad to each closed lid. Let sit for five minutes and open to less puffy eyes.
  • Northern Indian beauties used rosewater for de-puffing puffy eyes, soak two cotton pads in rosewater and apply to each eye. Lay back and relax for 5 minutes. Remove and say goodbye to puffy eyes.
  • Known for its rich oil, avocados also work as great eye depuffers. Just lay one slice of fresh avocado under each eye and lay back for 15 to 20 minutes.
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